Address: 1 Community School Drive Sun Valley, ID 83352
Founded: 2011 (Community School founded 1973, Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation founded 1966)
Grades: 9 through PG
Category: Prep School with competitive ski programs
Application deadline: 2/21/2020
Day School Cost: $31,250
Boarding School Cost: $49,250
Financial Aid: Yes
Head of School: Ben Pettit; SVSEF Executive Director, Scott McGrew
Email Contact: [email protected]
Academic Approach: Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it, too? At Sun Valley Ski Academy (SVSA), you can pursue your winter sports to the highest levels without sacrificing a vibrant and expansive, all-around high school experience. Exceptional coaching? Check. Immediate access to world-class training facilities, a ski-racer’s mountain, and unending cross-country ski trails? Without a doubt. And, the pièce de résistance? SVSA offers a top-notch college prep program complemented and enhanced by strong arts, service, and athletic programs as well as an unrivaled outdoor education program. This complete package helps the school live up to one of its mottos: “Not All Classrooms Have Walls.” SVSA is a partnership between Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF), a U.S. Ski and Snowboard Gold Certified Club, and Sun Valley Community School, a school with nearly 50 years of preparing students for top colleges and life beyond. Together as SVSA, we provide an unparalleled program that gives boarding and day students in grades 9-12 an educational and athletic experience that cannot be replicated. Our academic approach centers on close student-teacher relationships and collaborations, a challenging but supportive classroom environment, and ample co-curricular, experiential, and outdoor opportunities that develop independence, creativity, grit, teamwork, an expansive world-view, and self-reliance. Sun Valley Ski Academy supports our student-athletes with a dedicated academic coordinator who travels periodically throughout the training and competition season, a committed and flexible faculty, and a full complement of summer term courses that allow winter athletes to lighten their load when they are busiest. Confident, accomplished, resilient, and resourceful students graduate from our programs, go on to attend top colleges and universities in the country, and lead meaningful, purposeful lives. Several of our alumni have gone on to compete at higher levels—either in college or for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard teams and our program is committed to helping each student-athlete achieve their athletic and academic dreams. Here’s the thing—we do it differently at SVSA, and we have fun while doing it. Our community is dedicated to the pursuit of our passions, so if you want to pursue your athletic passion without sacrificing your academics or the opportunity to participate in the outdoor program, the arts, other sports, or community service, then take a look at Sun Valley Ski Academy. But be ready to move to Idaho because we think you’ll like what you see!
Athletic Approach: The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) provides year-round ski and snowboard training and competition opportunities for 675 athletes annually. SVSEF offers cutting-edge training with world-class coaches in six disciplines: alpine, big mountain, cross country, freestyle, freeski, and snowboard. In addition to standard athletic training, SVSEF athletes have access to opportunities to learn and grow with the Mountain Awareness Program (MAP), a backcountry and avalanche awareness initiative, as well as mental performance training. SVSEF has helped numerous junior racers achieve dreams of Olympic medals, world championship, and national podiums, World Cup victories, and racing at the NCAA level. More importantly, SVSEF has helped innumerable athletes become strong, lifelong skiers and riders.
Notable Coaches:SVSEF athlete/coach ratio: 6:1 Head Coaches: SVSA athletes train with the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation. Alpine Program Director, Will Brandenburg; Alpine FIS/PG Head Coach, Nate Schwing; Alpine USSA Head Coach, Gladys Weidt; Cross Country Program Director, Rick Kapala; Mountain Awareness Coordinator and Alpine USSA First-Year Lead, Lindsay Mann; Freestyle Head Coach, John Grigsby; Freeski Head Coach, Tyler Conway; Snowboard Head Coach, Andy Gilbert; Big Mountain Program Coordinator, Conor Davis; Big Mountain X Team Head Coach, Banks Gilberti
Notable Alumni: Picabo Street (SVSEF), Megan Gerety, Christin Cooper, Reggie Crist, Zach Crist, Morgan Arritola, Wyatt Bunce, Langley McNeal, Tanner Farrow, Kipling Weisel, Kaitlyn Farrington, Chase Josey, Jake Adicoff (SVSEF)
Training facilities: Sun Valley, America’s first destination resort, offers world-famous terrain of every imaginable variety. Alpine athletes have prime access to three separate mountain venues; Bald Mountain and Dollar Mountain, each a five-minute drive from the Sun Valley Community School campus, and Rotarun Ski Area, a local hill that is operated by SVSEF and serves as a private training location for our athletes. Alpine racers can expect to train on steeps, flats, and terrain chosen for both technical and speed practice. Cross country athletes have a newly-renovated training facility just a few miles north of town, and train on more than 200 kilometers of the country’s best trails. In addition, our new 3,500-square-foot facility, the Julia Argyros Training Center, is a centerpiece of our new residential program. Modeled after US Ski and Snowboard’s Center for Excellence in Park City, Utah, the training center is a state-of-the-art facility containing spin bikes, weight training equipment, and a track lane. Our High Performance Specialist, Johnie Michael, who joined us after working with U.S. Ski And Snowboard offers strength and conditioning programming to all teams year-round.
Additional Info: Our Rufus M. Brown campus opened in the winter of 2017 and has been a game changer for the SVSA program. Our soaring, modern residential building is 25,085-square-feet, and offers contemporary and comfortable designated spaces for dining, gathering, studying, training, living, and much more. The attractive and conveniently located facility provides a warm and home away from home for students seeking a high-quality boarding program. Our 28 boarding student-athletes live in the midst of bustling Ketchum, Idaho and have access to all the restaurants and culture that our mountain town provides. From going to the movies or meeting up for coffee with friends, our dorm is in the heart of our wonderful community.